As we probably all are aware of that a simple file or folder deletion from Windows Explorer doesn’t really do its job behind the scene, we need a tool that can wipe out the files that cannot be recovered by those file recovery tools. And Hardwipe is one of those tools that can perform such job for you.
Unlike the famous disk wiping tool like DBAN that makes the entire hard drive unrecoverable, Hardwipe is a free Windows file utility that works in Windows and wipes out clean not only the entire drives but also the individual files and folders as well.
Once it’s installed, it runs as a standalone windows application just like most of your Windows apps. It offers 3 main functions within the tool, Wipe Files, Wipe Drive, and Clean Space.
There are 6 wiping options for each wipe operation, from 0 overwrite to Gutmann with 35 passes. Obviously, the more passes you choose, the longer it takes to finish the wiping. Theoretically, as soon as the area that stores the files you want to delete gets overwritten the files are gone completely. So in most of time, 1 or 2 passes usually is good enough to keep your deleted files unrecoverable.
Because the wiping operation can be a heavy load job to both hard drive and processor, you can throttle the usage by 3 pre-defined methods, automatic, maximum, and limited.
Hardwipe also adds a few commands in the context menu after the installation that makes the user a lot easy to launch the wipe operation by just right clicking the file or folder they want to wipe.
Even though the latest version of Hardwipe includes a verification process to verify the result of the wiping, you still probably need to use a couple of file recovery tools to double check the output, just to be sure.
Overall, Hardwipe is a very well written utility that can be very handy when such a need of permanent file deletion is required. And best of all, it’s free and it’s been updated frequently by the developers at Big Angry Dog.